Abraham Lincoln Might Have Been a Republican, But He Damn Sure Wasn’t a Conservative

lincolnAnytime racism is brought up in the realm of political debate, it’s inevitable that some conservative will use the worn out (and ignorant) line of, “Abraham Lincoln was a Republican!”  Which, of course, is true.  Lincoln was in fact a Republican.

Lincoln also instituted the first “income tax,” and told the Southern states claiming “states’ rights” when it came to slavery that they were completely full of crap.

Could you imagine a Republican today creating a tax and telling states that their claim of “states’ rights” on an issue was absurd?

Abraham Lincoln might have been a Republican, but that was before Republicans became “conservatives.”  See, there’s a difference between what Republicans were and what conservatives are.  Conservatives have always been conservatives.  Decades ago, racist conservatives aligned with the Democratic party.  Today these same conservatives call themselves Republicans.

Anyone who knows anything about history knows that long ago Democrats were the party of racists.  But those who are honest about history also know that over time, the political ideology of both parties switched.

This isn’t hard to prove – just look at reality.  What groups align with the fringe of the Republican party?  The KKK, neo-Nazis and people who seek to glorify the confederacy.  In other words, racists.  You don’t see members of the KKK, Nazi groups or confederate sympathizers siding with modern day Democrats.  Oh, no – they vote Republican.

Besides, the whole basis for being a conservative is opposing change and longing for “traditional values.”  When Lincoln pushed to free the slaves he was embracing change and thumbing his nose at “traditional values.”

In other words, he was acting like a liberal.  He embraced that which was otherwise unknown.  A United States of America where slavery was illegal.

Nothing about Lincoln made him a conservative.  He fought against “states’ rights,” he created a tax, he bucked tradition, he embraced change and he did all of this by using the power of big government.  Because you don’t get much “bigger” as far as government goes than by fighting a civil war.

So while it’s true that history will forever label Abraham Lincoln a Republican, reality overwhelmingly tells us that he damn sure wasn’t what modern day Republicans consider a conservative.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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